Am J Perinatol 2022; 39(16): 1764-1778
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1749635
Review Article

Mother to Newborn Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Evolution of Evidence in 1.5 Years of COVID-19 Pandemic

1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, NYC Health, Hospitals/Metropolitan, New York City, New York
,
2   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, NYU Long Island School of Medicine, New York City, New York
,
Rishika Sharma
3   Department of Pediatrics, Family Healthcare Network, Visalia, California
,
Martha Caprio
4   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, New York
,
Pradeep Mally
4   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, New York
,
Sourabh Verma
4   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, New York
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant mortality and morbidity in people of all age groups worldwide. Given the uncertainty regarding the mode of transmission and potential effects of COVID-19 on pregnant mothers and their newborns, guidelines for taking care of maternal–newborn dyads have evolved tremendously since the pandemic began. There has been an enormous influx of published materials regarding the outcomes of mothers and newborns. Still, multiple knowledge gaps regarding comprehensive information about risk to the mothers and newborns exist, which need to be addressed. Current evidence suggests that mothers with symptomatic COVID-19 infection are at increased risk of severe illness during pregnancy, with a higher need for respiratory support and premature deliveries. Neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 are at increased risk of needing intensive care; however, most newborns do well after birth. As new mutant variants arise, we need to be cautious while proactively understanding any new evolving patterns. All leading health authorities strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination before or during pregnancy to reduce the risk of maternal morbidities and benefit from passing antibodies to newborns prenatally and via breastmilk. Additionally, there are racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in outcomes and vaccination coverage for pregnant women. This article summarizes the rapidly evolving evidence for the last 1.5 years and aims to help health care professionals care for mothers with COVID-19 and their newborns.

Key Points

  • COVID-19 in pregnancy can cause perinatal morbidities.

  • Breastfeeding and breast milk are safe for newborns.

  • COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk for morbidities.



Publication History

Received: 23 November 2021

Accepted: 13 April 2022

Article published online:
23 June 2022

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